2.5 Gallon Tank for Tiny Goldfish

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kreuztraeger

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I recently bought a very small, 3/4" calico fantail goldfish from Walmart. I kept it in a bowl for several days pending a larger tank.

I currently have him in a 2.5 gallon planted tank (with filtration) which is really meant for bettas, but I'm planning to keep him in it until he is ready to go head to head with my larger goldfish. I think he is OK where he is for now, given how small he is.

My question is, at what point should I transfer him to a larger tank? I'm thinking I might have to use an intermediate tank ~10 gallons to grow him until he is large enough to join my other fantail goldfish in a 20 gallon long tank. (I think it's okay to put them together eventually, since it's aerated and the surface area is larger than the average 20 gallon high tank.)
 

platy ben

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He should be fine with your big goldfish now, if you keep him in the 2.5G he won't grow at all
 

Meenu

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I don't think your 20 that you mentioned in your other tank is big enough for 2 goldfish. Were you able to read that link I posted?
 

kreuztraeger

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I've tried putting two goldfish together in a small tank before, and one ended up bullying the other. Are you sure the larger goldfish (3.5"), which likes to nibble at various things around the tank, won't bully the small one (3/4") or outcompete it for food?
 

Furallicah

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I have to agree a 20gal isnt big enough for two goldies...I wouldnt really keep two in anything smaller then a 40gal....But I'm keeping my Oranda and Lionhead in a 25gal for a few months until I get a bigger tank for them. They might be fine for a while but realize they will need a bigger tank. Also I think your goldfish would do fine in the tank as of now. My Oranda is about 5 inches long....my Lionhead is about...2inches...they get along fine.
 

kreuztraeger

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I read the link, it said 2 goldfish need 30 gallons. But I'm assuming that refers to a common 29 gallon tank which has roughly the same surface area as my 20L tank, right? I've never seen a 30 gallon tank built in the same way as a 20L tank. Plus with aeration, I'm sure both would get a good amount of oxygen. And if I change the water frequently enough, they shouldn't be able to tell the difference. At least I think.
 

Meenu

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mine's 36x12x16. They produce too much waste for 2 goldies in a 20. You'll make your own decisions, but I kinda doubt anyone here's going to say it's a good idea.
 

kreuztraeger

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Apparently there are some people who insist on stocking 20 gallon tanks to the max. I've seen some on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=20+gallon+goldfish&aq=f which defy common logic.

I'm only talking about 2 goldfish, max. And in about 3 years I'll probably move out of my current place. I'll probably get a 55 gallon tank then.
 

Shine

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Wow.... I followed the you-tube link: 10 goldfish in a 20 G??

Now thats extreme!!!!
 

kreuztraeger

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Yeah .. goldfish forums can be a game of one-upsmanship at times. Granted it's a good idea to give goldfish plenty of room but if they don't seem agitated or stressed in their movements (from having their space restricted) and the water chemistry is OK, it's my philosophy that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I certainly don't have room for a 55 gallon aquarium in my place, nor do I have anything to put it on.

They say goldfish grow to the size of their container. I'm sure my tiny goldfish will grow even in 2.5 gallons, as long as I keep up the right parameters for nitrates and stuff. The tank is planted with some java moss.

I do NOT plan to move the tiny goldfish in with the larger one, because I have heard plenty of horror stories about those kind of situations.

I have about three 10 gallon tanks back at my parents' house, so whenever I sense that the new goldfish needs a larger home, I'll move it. If I notice it growing the slightest bit then it's going to be moved.
 
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Shine

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Honestly I would move him to the 10 g now. That 'grow to the size of the container' thing is a myth. Yes, the fish will stay smaller. But that is due to stunting and is not healthy for the fish. I think we have a "goldfish myths" thread around here somewhere....

I can see being concerned about bullying though. I had three at one point and one was only a 1/2 inch shorter then the other two... he wasn't being bulllied so much as being unable to get enough food... I was worried about him 'cause he was starting to look 'hollow'. I separated him from the others for about a month, and in that time he caught up in size
 

platy ben

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Yep, a goldfish will 'grow to the size of its container' however, its internal organs keep growing which eventually kills them.
 

gremlin

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Congrats on your fantail. They are some pretty fish. My goldies are all the common/comet variety or shubunkins which are basically the same body shape. My recommendation for goldies is 20 gallons for the first, then 10 gallons for each additional - for fancy goldfish. The long-bodied commons/comets/shubunkins, I recommend 30-40 gallons for the first with an additional 15-20 gallons for each additional goldie at least until you get up to a larger outdoor pond type. Then you have a bit more room to play around. The fancies don't need as much room because they are slower swimmers. The non-fancy goldies are strong swimmers and really need lots of room to swim. As for the water parameters, if you have a good filter and do frequent water changes to keep the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates all at appropriate levels, you could keep any fish in a container that would keep it wet. That doesn't mean it is healthy or non-stressful. In my opinion, a 2.5 gallon tank is too small for even a baby goldie. If you are concerned about your youngster being bullied, the I would suggest using a piece of plastic canvas or acrylic or something similar to make a divider for your current tank. That way the two goldfish can get to know each other and establish territory on their side of the tank. Then you can remove the divider and they should be fine. If they do start to squabble, you can replace the divider for a while. I have goldfish in my pond from 1 inch all the way up to 10 inches or so and nobody bullies anyone else. In my experience, rate of growth depends a lot on the temperature. If you want your smaller goldie to grow a bit before you combine the two, then keep the water temp of the tank in the mid to upper 70's range - between 74 and 78 degrees. If you need to use a heater, then set it so the tank's temperature goes up to the 76-78 degrees during midday to early afternoon then cool it off to 72-74 overnight. That seems to be the approximate temperature range of when my sister's babies grew the best. Some of her babies grew to the 3 inch mark in a matter of months. You could use a 10 gallon for the grow out, or just put them both in the 20. You will definitely need to keep up with the water changes and it might be a good idea to have two filters on the tank. That way you have the extra filtration you will need, but it won't increase the current too much for your fancy goldies. Whichever you decide, please let us know how things go and pictures are always welcome!
 

yukoandk

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Hmmm...

I'll repeat what I said in your other thread; with goldfish, bigger's alway better and easier. Go for the biggest tank you can reasonably afford and manage to keep. If that's the 20 gal you have now, that will have to do. It's all about waste management--down the road you may end up doing several water changes every week to keep the water in ok condition, but by then you may decide you need a bigger tank.

As for your little guy, I'd try introducing him to the 20 gal rather than keeping him in a separate tank. It is likely you'll see bullying at first--they will need to sort out their hierarchy especially because the other fish is much bigger and already in HIS tank. If the little one does not find himself comfortable after a few days, or if he cannot fend for himself and being seriously injured, then you should take him out.

Hope this helps.
 

funkman262

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It's all about waste management--down the road you may end up doing several water changes every week to keep the water in ok condition, but by then you may decide you need a bigger tank.
You're kind of right about that...but one of the concerns brought up in this thread is the worry of stunting the fish which is very unhealthy for the fish. For example, according to your logic, I could keep a 10" goldfish in a 10g tank as long as I do water changes every day to keep the nitrates down. However, the goldfish needs room to grow and to swim (non-fancy types are strong swimmers and need horizontal space to excercise those muscles). That's why it's not good to keep goldfish in smaller tanks even when they are young and small. It's better to just leave them in large tanks and give them the space to grow so that they don't become stunted
 

kreuztraeger

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As much as I'd like to see Pom, Jr. and Tiger become friends, I don't think Tiger is quite ready for that yet. I doubt the little fellow would get eaten right away, but I can assure you he would have trouble competing for food. I've heard plenty of examples where goldfish of equal size are put in a tank together, then half a year later one is gigantic and the other is still tiny. In my case that would mean a 6" fish against a 1" fish ... anyone want to guess who will win in that match up?

@funkman262: I think you're right about needing room to swim, seeing how the same principle can be applied to humans (i.e. people who exercise often have better posture and fewer spinal deformities than those who don't). Right now though Tiger has plenty of room to swim. It takes him nearly 5 seconds to cross the tank.

Tiger is a fancy (calico fantail) goldfish and it looks like he is going to be even more egg shaped than Pom, Jr. (also a fantail), so I doubt he will ever be a fast swimmer.
 
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